An Overview of Health Insurance for Expats in Singapore

If you are about to move to Singapore to start a new career, you are probably all excited about it. And with good reason. Singapore is modern country with a dynamic economy and fabulous quality of life. With overall high hygiene standards and good nutritious food, you will lead a healthy and happy life. However, in all the excitement of moving to this amazing country, you might just end up forgetting about health insurance. 

As an expat, health insurance is one of the most important financial tools that you would require. This is because healthcare can be a little costly in Singapore.  And while Singaporean citizens and permanent residents have their health care covered to a certain extent by MediShield Life (a government-administered health insurance policy), expats do not receive any health benefits and need to cover their medical expenses on their own.

In this article, we offer you an overview of what you need to know about expat health insurance in Singapore. 

The need for expat health insurance

Singapore has some of the best healthcare facilities in the world. Yet, medical expenses can cost you a fortune. Sure, your Singaporean employer may offer you basic health coverage, but you might still want to top this up with a plan that has better coverage. You must also take a family health insurance plan if your spouse and children are accompanying you to Singapore. If you are an entrepreneur setting up shop in Singapore, it is prudent that you seek out a comprehensive health insurance plan that will have your back if you fall ill and require hospitalization. 

The types of insurance options

Before choosing a health insurance plan, do check with your health insurance provider in your own country to what extent they will cover you in Singapore. This will help you calculate the exact coverage you need. There are two main types of health insurance for expats:

  • Local health covers

Offered by local health insurance providers, these plans are popularly referred to as Integrated Shield Plans. These health plans are normally purchased by Singaporeans to complement the cover offered by their MediShield Life. Integrated Shield Plans can also be purchased by expats, though their premiums may differ from those paid by Singaporeans.  

A good health insurance plan can have a yearly coverage amount of $1 million or more. The premiums for local insurance are quite affordable which is why it is extremely popular among expats and recommended if you do not plan to travel a lot out of Singapore once you settle here. 

  • International health cover

These health insurance plans are specifically designed for expats. You may get an international health plan from a local provider or even a global provider. 

The coverage offered by international health plans may slightly exceed that of local plans. The premiums of international plans are definitely higher; however, if you travel a lot, international health insurance is recommended for you. 

When choosing health insurance in Singapore, make sure to review at least a few providers, and make a detailed comparison. Look for offers and discounts that can help you save money, while not compromising on features. Remember to take health cover for your entire family. Most importantly, remember to inquire into the coverage of pre-existing illnesses with your health insurance provider. Weigh the facilities offered by local and international coverage and pick the one that gives exactly what you need. To ensure you can afford the premiums. Discuss all the available choices with your spouse and take the right pick. All the best!